Moving is definitely on my list of least favorite activities of all time, but there are a few things that make up for all the hours packing and unpacking. At the top of that list is getting to start with blank walls and new spaces to fill with all of my favorite things that I love. We had a big blank space in our living room, and I really wanted to make something that celebrates each place that we still call home with a little piece of home decor made from wooden states!
The first step was to decide how large to make each state. If I made them all to size, some would be huge, and the tiny New England states would be overshadowed. In Photoshop, I arranged pictures of each state and resized each until I found that they looked comfortable next to each other. I added in an image of a ruler so I could gauge what number of inches I wanted the longest side to be. For example, based on my arrangement, Idaho should be a foot tall, Ohio should be about 10" wide, etc.
I was not even going to attempt to cut out these intricate states myself, so I ordered them from Craft Cuts and they were only about $4-5 each. I chose to use MDF because it quite strong and not very heavy. Its actually very popular for crafting.
I used a black acrylic enamel since that was all we had after some Pinewood Derby cars this year, but I'm sure any standard bottle of black spray paint would do the job just fine.
From there, I hand-painted some destination stars and dotted paths from home to home and drilled two holes into the top and bottom of each state. I sprayed on a polycrylic top coat and then strung them together with craft ribbon that you can find at any Joann's or Walmart for around $.50.
In Photoshop, I made a quick text image for my Cricut (and feel free to use this yourself!) and applied it to the wall with standard black vinyl. I love, love, love how it turned out and I just beam with pride when friends come over and ask if these are all the places that we've lived.
Hopefully it will inspire you to make one yourself!! Happy crafting!